Moderated topics for discovery and community

In thinking about continued feedback about lack of discoverability on, how to add more special emoji (or expand beyond them), I had an idea to share.

Discover, as I understand it, is a curated feed run primarily by @jean. She looks at something close to the “firehose” of all posts and can promote things into Discover.

I wonder if can abandon the emoji system in favor of using categories (especially as that becomes more present in various interfaces). Categories are mostly for us on our blogs right now, but they can also generate candidate “firehose” feeds. “Blessed” categories, such as those with the emoji feeds today, can have a feed that a moderator can publish to the discover/${category} feed. We can start with existing emoji feeds, but maybe there can be a mechanism for category feed recommendation and creation.

Rather than have Jean or Manton or someone paid by moderate these feeds, I am imagining them running like subreddits do with a volunteer community moderator. For example, @Miraz might want to moderate a custommb feed that’s all posts about messing around with customizing your

This would be a huge ask for although at least some of these administrator-like tools clearly exist, this would require exposing those tools to a whole new class of users. You’d need a process for selecting and removing moderators. You’d also need a process for selecting and removing topics/categories. And we’d have to have a mechanism to communicate existing categories.

That said, the volunteer human curation/moderation method already does work well across the web. It avoids post spam and slows down a feed far below the level of “real time”. I think those methods combine should reduce Manton’s concern about harassment.

To be honest, the auto posting of emoji into feeds has long suggested to me that the harassment concern is fairly unlikely to be derived from aggregating topical posts. I think the main advantage is only aggregating pre-determined categories, which I think serves to reduce the ability for nascent vectors to pop up incredibly fast and discourages category spamming.

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With regard to the specific mention of me and possibly moderating a custommb feed — I’d welcome that. I already keep an eye on my Timeline, the Discover feed and the Help forum for such posts so that I can potentially add posts to the @custom blog.

It seems to me there are some community members who have ‘proved’ themselves on Micro.Blog because we’ve been around for a while, join in discussions, post reasonably often. Such members could be good candidates for volunteering to moderate certain feeds and being given some level of behind the scenes access to allow that to happen.

This also sparks me to point out a tiny change I made in my Profile just this week. I changed the line that says I joined Micro.Blog on [date] to read: I joined the Micro.Blog community on [date]. Seems small, but I regard the community as a very significant part of the Micro.Blog experience. After all, I could easily put my blog anywhere. But I find myself often saying things to my partner or close friends about something a Micro.Blog pal has said or done, or a photo they’ve taken or whatever. This is an important community for me.

Thanks y’all! I think this is a great idea. We’ve always wanted to expand curation and in the past I’ve wanted better tools before we could do that, but we’ve slowly been improving them, so I think it’s about time.